Sunday, 2 December 2012

Nosh Lab : Cari de poulet (comme à la Réunion)

Cari Poulet - a dish from Reunion Island
Bastardised by me on account I served it with bread!
Traditionally it is served with rice.

Obviously I'm still cooking , although I haven't blogged about my foodie venturings in a while. So much to eat and so little time to write about it! Anyway, the picture above is of Cari Poulet which is a bit of a culinary adventure for me in creole cooking courtesy of my •❤• Angel.

Chicken (I used 3 leg portions)
Tomatoes (I used what I had but I'd estimate about 6 medium salad tomatoes to make about a cup in measurement)
Onion (1 large brown onion, thinly sliced)
Garlic (aprox. 2-3 cloves which might be too garlicky for some - do to taste)
Fresh Ginger (aprox. 1 inch)
3 Cloves Garlic
Fresh black pepper
Sea Salt

Honestly, this organised ingredients pic is only for the blog.
I'm never this neat actually cooking. Maybe that's why I never blog!
Clockwise left to right : Garlic + Ginger, Tumeric, Thyme ( I used dried but I think fresh would have made a more authentic dish - Angel says use 2 sprigs) , Salt + Pepper, 1 Clove.

So the funny thing about this dish is I've never tasted the actual thing and a lot of the nuances of actually cooking it, is an educated guess on my part. This is my interpretation based on the recipe that was shared with me. I made it because I had most of the ingredients to hand and said I would!
It's surprisingly good for its simplicity.

Method :

In a pestle, pound ginger, garlic, salt and pepper
Pound to a paste  
Basically so there aren't any huge lumpy bits of spice
Slice onion thinly - Angel's top tip (and I quote) 
" ... so that the onion melts"
I was told in the authentic dish they are fond of using small tomatoes.
I had an assortment so I basically cut them up about the same size ie. halves and quarters.
Now here is where a good non stick pan is essential.  
Brown off the chicken in a hot non stick skillet
This is done by dry frying (not adding anything else)  on a high heat - Here you can see I used a splatter guard because the chicken skin will eventually produce quite a bit of oil on its own. 
(aprox. 5-10 mins)
Then to ensure that the chicken is moist, cover  to cook via steaming 
(aprox. 5 mins -10 mins) 
When skin is a golden brown and meat is part cook,  
add onions and continue to cook gently
As the onions begin to become softer and more translucent,
add the pounded paste of salt + pepper + garlic + ginger
Follow on with the rest of the dry spices ie. Tumeric + Thyme + Clove
Gently cooking and mixing till everything in the skillet is a lovely golden tumeric colour
Continue to saute gently as you add your tomatoes...
(Which just means to stir and turn your chicken + onions + spices + tomatoes 
while the dish is on a medium - low  heat) 
To break down and finish cooking the ingredients through,
turn heat down to low, cover pan and simmer. 
(aprox. 15 minutes)
Here you can see that the chicken is cooked through 
(comes away from the bone around the cartilage)
The tomatoes have broken down to form a liquor with the rest of the pan juices.
The actual dish I'm told is relatively dry - so all I did was reduce the liquid in half by cooking uncovered. 
Finally, I added a chilli (sliced into so that the heat is infused in the last stage of cooking)
and garnished the dish with sliced spring onions
20 seconds later  - this was all that was left
(Ok ... I exagerate but it was GOOD and it went FAST)
Angel thinks I'm heathen because I served it with bread. I know.. it's sacrilege !

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Nosh Lab : Chicken Rogan Josh.

Unfortunately I haven't got any pictures of the product as it was just too yummy that we chowed down before I even got the chance to reach for a snap... I served it with roti prata which you can buy in frozen foods at an asian/chinese markets. I find it works well with pita or nan bread too.

Chicken Rogan Josh

6 Chicken Pieces (I used thighs with skin)

1tsp Butter

1/2 Chicken stock cube

Spices (To blend the following or pound to a paste):
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
2 tsp Ground Cumin
3 tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Ground Coriander Powder
2 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tsp Tumeric Powder
3 Garlic cloves
Half small brown onion
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 inch ginger
3-4 fresh green finger chilli

Fresh Corriander
Fresh or Tinned Whole Tomatoes (Quatered)
Sliced Mushrooms

Additional Spices : (optional)
Whole cloves 3-4
Cinnamon stick
Star Anise
3 pods Cardamom

Method :
Season Chicken pieces with salt and pepper and using a hot non stick pan, fry chicken skin side down - till skin turns slightly brown. Cool and remove skins. Drain most of the oil/fat that remains from cooking the chicken away but allowing about a tsp or so to remain.

Fry off spice paste in remaining oil till aromatic and add butter and pre-browned chicken.
Add chicken stock cube and 1/2 pint of tap water and bring to a boil - Reduce heat and either simmer for further 2 hours or use thermal pot. Towards the end of cooking time, add tomatoes and fresh coriander - and remainder of optional spices = simmer a further 5-10 minutes seasoning to taste.

Serve hot with side of Nan or Pita Bread.